Moulding and casting supplies
03 9553 7040
Call us Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Shopping Cart

item - $0.00

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Subtotal: $0.00

Australia's Leading Supplier of Moulding and Casting Materials

How to Remove Polyurethane


There are many types of chemical removers available for removing polyurethane from furniture or flooring. It’s important to select the proper product for your project, to limit exposure and minimize health risks involved in working with strong chemicals.

Consider the location and size of project before starting. Always use any chemical remover in a well-ventilated area, with proper safety gear (such as goggles, gloves and long-sleeve clothing). If possible, complete these projects outside or in a garage, where fresh air is available.

If you are unable to secure an outside location, ensure that all windows and doors are open during the stripping.

Main Types of Polyurethane Removers

There are four types of products for removing polyurethane. Each product offers a unique balance of features and draw-backs, depending on the location and size of the item being refinished.

Water-based Products

One of the safest options for polyurethane removal is a water-based product. They are created with lower fumes and harsh chemicals. While water-based products typically take longer to complete than harsher options, it is a safer option for people and the environment.

“Green” or Soy-Based Products

Like water-based products, soy-based stripping agents are created to reduce the impact of chemical fumes on the environment. These are safer for those individuals who can’t circulate the air (or complete the project outside) and have a less detrimental and volatile outcome due to chemicals.

Mineral Spirits

This polyurethane remover is one of the few products safe for use with laminate. Mineral spirits are a petroleum-based product, available in both low-odour and odour-free options. As they are petroleum-based, this stripper is highly flammable if improperly used or stored. Likewise, they must be used with proper ventilation (using a ventilator at all times) and safety attire.

Methylene Chloride

Methylene Chloride is a highly effective polyurethane stripper but does come with extreme risk as well. This product is a known carcinogen and must be used in a very well ventilated area. Using this product requires a ventilator at all times.

Removing Polyurethane

1. Prepare the area. Remove the item to a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or backyard. Lay a drop cloth down on the ground to protect surfaces from chemicals and staining. In the event the product can’t be removed (such as a floor), open all windows and doors.

2. Wearing gloves and a ventilator, apply small section of stripping agent. Limit the sections to three-foot by three-foot areas. Ideally, section areas that can be removed in fifteen minutes or less.

3. Wait recommended time, according to container.

4. Slowly strip the polyurethane from the product using a sharp putty knife. Use small gentle strokes to remove the coating. Scrape any chemicals removed into a disposable container or rag. Repeat this process until the entire product is complete.

5. Finish smaller crevices or details with steel wool. Steel wool works to remove polyurethane from smaller areas unreached by the knife.

6. Dispose of materials in a hazardous waste receptacle (or contact your local community for disposing arrangements).